15/05/2017 Daily Politics


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Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics.


Theresa May is promising a "new deal for workers" and "the greatest


extension of rights for employees by any Conservative


"Tory cuts have exposed the NHS to cyber attack" -


so says Jeremy Corbyn, as he pledges an extra 37 billion


In a previous life, Jeremy Corbyn's views often differed from mainstream


I am, of course, in Newcastle, finding out just how excited


people are about manifesto launches this week.


If you don't read the manifesto, you don't know


And it's quite important to know what's happening to your country.


All that in the next hour, and with us for the whole


of the programme today - Kwasi Kwarteng, who's


running for re-election for the Conservatives,


First today, Theresa May has said that she will bring forward


what she calls "the greatest expansion in workers'


rights by any Conservative government in history",


It's being seen as an attempt to appeal to Labour voters


Theresa May says that, after Brexit, she will keep all the workers'


rights that are currently guaranteed by EU law.


The National Living Wage will go up in line with average earnings over


The views of workers will be represented on company boards,


although this could just done by a workers' representative,


And the Conservatives are also promising new statutory leave rights


for people who have suffered a child bereavement,


need to care for a family member, or want to undertake training.


And the Conservatives will also amend existing legislation to extend


protections for workers with mental health conditions.


The Labour Party unveiled their own workers' rights


Their plans included a ?10 an hour minimum wage by 2020,


ending the public sector pay cap, banning zero hours contracts


Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats announced last week that they'll


introduce a so-called "father's month" -


that's an additional month of paid parental leave for fathers.


This was Theresa May talking about those plans this morning.


What we're doing today is announcing the biggest ever


enhancement of workers' rights by a Conservative government.


And, yes, there are various elements to this.


But we're, for example, committing that the national


Living Wage will continue to rise in line with median earnings.


Yes, that people will be able to request time off


to care for a relative and we want to support


I've been today at a fantastic organisation, TechPixies,


helping women who have been taking time out of work looking


after children to get the skills to get back into the workplace,


This is what we want to see more of in the future.


Joining me now is Frances O'Grady, General Secretary of


What's your response, do you embrace these proposals? This is promising


and I'm pleased all major parties are competing on our turf. Fighting


for workers' votes on issues that matter to working people. I think in


respect to Theresa May's proposals, we need much more detail. How many


of these rights like family leave will be writes for paid leave,


otherwise they'll just writes for the well off. I heard comments on


the national minimum wage. There is a pre-existing promise that this


should be at least 60% of median earnings by 2020. I would like that


clarified. And on the deep economy, zero hours and self-employment --


the gig economies. I don't want to wait for Matthew Taylor's review. I


think we should hear now on what the Conservatives want to do on what is


a modern-day scandal. What do you think about the claim that this is


an historic offer being made to workers by the Conservative


government? I've spent my life campaigning for a better deal for


workers. I'm very pleased that all main parties are competing on this


ground. It's important, and I think there is a recognition that working


people have had a tough deal. The corporate governance system is


rigged against not just working people but the long-term success of


companies. We need a stronger voice for working people and I would like


to hear a positive story about the role of unions as well. Because


that's the best way of ensuring people can enforce rights. Otherwise


they have to fork out more than ?1000 in an employment tribunal to


make real. All these rights might be well and good but in the end if


wages will be squeezed further by the rise in inflation and rising


prices, will workers be that bothered about some of the rights


they may or may not get depending on who is in government? The rights are


important to guarantee we have a level playing field. It's only if


workers come together collectively that we can enforce those rights and


improve people's living standards. This was the big gap in the story


today. What are we going to do, not just about the very low paid, but


ordinary workers who are, as the Prime Minister said, struggling to


get by? And we have still got those pay limits on public service workers


meaning in real terms they will be worse off against point labour says


it will remove that pay cap on public service workers. What sort of


rises would you like to see for those workers? The TUC have said


clearly that where there are independent pay review bodies, they


should be genuinely independent and their recommendations should be


heeded. Otherwise we need real collective bargaining. That's the


only way we can ensure that we get a fair distribution of the wealth that


is created, whether that's in the private or public sector. What sort


of level, though? Because that will in turn have an impact on the


economy if there are higher wage rises for certain sectors, whether


it's private or public. The great benefit of collective bargaining and


independent pay review bodies is that they look at affordability and


fairness and you come to an agreement. Thank you very much,


Frances O'Grady. We did ask the Conservatives


for a front bench spokesman to comment on this major policy


announcement, but they said But we do have Conservative MP


Kwasi Kwarteng and we're also joined by Ian Lavery,


Labour's Elections Coordinator. You have announced this 11 point


plan on workers' rights. Is it fully costed? I just want to say, I'm not


an MP, I'm a candidate. Thank you. The broad point is that we have a


strong and stable government and we want something that has a broader


reach. It's an attractive policy that I think will get lots of people


who haven't necessarily voted Conservative in the past. Is it


properly costed? Of course. It will be costed in terms of having a plan


to balance the budget. That's not the same as a fully costed plan. You


always say to Labour when they announced their policies, how will


they pay for it? Is it through higher income tax, or a reversal


incorporation tax, or whatever it is? Using the broad economy is not


saying it's fully costed. There is a difference because when Labour have


specific spending commitments, saying so much for 10,000 extra


policeman, they don't actually know the numbers. So how will you find


this new plan for statutory rights? The point about the regulation is we


are not saying we are going to know how many people will use and


exercise those rights. To put it a different way, have you done a full


impact assessment? If I take your point we're not talking about... We


are not talking about specific numbers because we don't know how


may people will use those rights. So in a sense, it's not fully costed.


We have a broad assessment. I'm sure that will be revealed in the


manifesto. I'm saying it's not right to suggest it's the same as when


Labour make specific spending commitments because we don't know


how many people will use those rights. In a way it's exactly the


same. If you put the same onus on the opposition or the Labour Party


to cost its proposals, people expect the Conservatives to do the same.


You say we will keep all the workers' rights we get from the EU


after Brexit but there is nothing to stop a future Conservative


government watering down those rights in years to come. This is


entirely hypothetical. We don't even know who will win the election. No


votes have been cast. To talk about a hypothetical Conservative


government at some point in the future is getting ahead of


ourselves. Is it? Because if you say we will keep all the workers' rights


we get from the EU after Brexit, that's quite a bold claim and it


would be meaningless if in five years' time those rights disappear.


What the government has said is that we are committed to keeping the


rights... For the time being. We do not know what will happen in 2022.


No party can say what their platform will be then. We have a broad


commitment by this Prime Minister to protect workers' rights, and not


only protect them, but extend them in a way no other Conservative


government has done in my recollection ever. It's an


extraordinary and exciting development. I think it will work


very well. Do you accept that we can't state and no party can clearly


state at this point what they might do? In 2022? No party can do that.


Returnship, you wrote a book recently with colleagues in the


Conservative Party... Five years ago. That's not that long ago. You


said British workers were I'd list. The pamphlet said laziest. You said


all this business about social services being cut to the bone will


stop you said things about Labour's, the rights of employees had to be


reduced. That's your view. This is a long journey. I hope people who are


listening and weighing this up know this is a long journey. The purpose


of this is due in the end reduce workers' rights. You can't say that.


Let's go back to the first point Helena Kennedy mix. You were part of


a group of free enterprise MPs. There was a book, a pamphlet


written... It was a book. You said British workers were idlers. It was


a quotation in the book. It was from someone else. It was a book


published in 2012. Let him answer and I will come to you. Anybody can


see the world is in a completely different place to where we were


five years ago. We have Brexit. We are committed to securing workers'


rights. You said yourself that as a consequence of Brexit workers'


rights would be in jeopardy. We said no. The Prime Minister has come out


with an exciting package and all you can do is criticise. I would think


you would welcome these improvements. Ian Lavery. Priti


Patel, International Development Secretary, said in the referendum


campaign last year that there could be a boost to the economy and


600,000 new jobs. She was also contributed to that book. Where is


the bonfire of regulation? As far as I can see you are adding to the


regulations with this 11 point plan? The Prime Minister's position was


always clear. When she was elected she said she wanted a country and


economy that worked for everyone. This announcement embeds that and


wants to extend and seek to extend rights. I find it extraordinary that


opposition parties are arguing against it. We are not arguing


against it. I thought you would welcome this development. These


ideas have been around and discussed by Labour politicians and Liberal


Democrat politicians. This is not some new invention, I can assure


you. But for a Conservative may be. That's the point of the quote from


the Prime Minister. They are all over Labour's territory. That's the


purpose. It's windowdressing to challenge the fact that Labour will


in the end do things about creating employment and employees rights.


Nobody is arguing against it. It is terrific. In the long term, there is


no money costed for it.... It is terrific, though. Absolutely, but


it's stolen from others. I have been very patient! You have, now I will


turn my attention to you. It has been broadly welcomed by the TUC.


Helena Kennedy said it was terrific. What say you? I've got to say, it's


amazing hearing Kwasi Kwarteng suggest that the Conservative Party


are now the party of the working people. He wrote a book that said


British workers were idlers and lazy and would prefer to lie in bed than


go out and do a day off work. Do you think the working people of this


country will forget that? Do you think the working people are fooled


by your rhetoric? It's an outrage to make such remarks about the people


in this country. You're not going to get away with that. We have already


had a go at Kwasi Kwarteng for what he and others said in the book. What


about the proposals today? I think the proposals today, the bombshell


for me and the Labour Party is the fact that it has gone largely


unreported that the people in this country, working people, are set to


lose ?2300 between now and 2020 as a result of bereaved calculation of


the national living wage. -- of the recalculation.


Are these proposals good or not? The most important one on explaining its


full working people, how they pay for food and how they feed their


children. What we have in this document is a bombshell on working


people which will mean that ?2300 per annum worse off in 2020. Frances


O'Grady clearly said, also picking up on the question I put her on the


squeeze on wages, but she said used all need workers' rights and you


still need the sorts of rights outlined by the Conservatives with


the backing of Kwasi Kwarteng. I am saying to you, do you support them?


We have a 20 point plan released two weeks ago with regard to workers'


rights. If you scrutinise that 20 point plan it's far and away much


better in terms of securing people in the workplace. You do have your


own plan for workers' rights. The plan is far better than what has


been suggested this morning. All right, let's take it bit by bit and


see if it is an improvement. Would the Labour government create new


statutory leave indictments for carers, people who want training and


have suffered a child bereavement? Yes. You would match those. What


about people working in the gig economy, working for taxi firms like


Uber. The Conservatives say they will intimate revue carried out by


the former Tony Blair adviser. We have 460,000 people working in bogus


soft employment in the low-wage economy. We have 1 million people


and more. What would you do for them? We are going to get rid of


zero-hours contracts. We have 1 million people on zero-hours


contracts. We have 1.5 million people stuck on the minimum wage.


How many of those people on zero-hours contracts want to be on


zero-hours contracts? Let me just say this because it's important.


People who are in this country who are working 40 hours a week claiming


benefits, we have people in this country working 40 hours per week


using food banks including nurses on the NHS. I am asking for the


solutions and proposals to deal with it. How can the Tory government come


forward and suggest in any way they are the party for the working


people? You have not answered my question. How many of the people on


zero-hours contracts, how many of them want to be on those contracts


and what the flexibility rightly or wrongly? The vast majority don't


want to be. How can anybody want to be on the zero-hours contract?


People do, they want to have that flexibility and I think your


approach where you just say this is what is going to happen, it is de


Reid Fiest, a top-down approach, some people want to have a


flexible... Very few people. A few people and more than you think.


Let's talk about the public sector pay cut I put this to Frances


O'Grady and she said you would need an independent pay body. How much


should it go up and how much would it cost? When you look at it public


sector employees have not had a pay rise since 2000... I'm not asking


that. I'm just saying, they have not had a pay rise, they don't know what


a pay rise is only more so it's important we pay these most


important people in society a fair and decent wage. It's not up to me


to predict what they should be paid but they certainly need a pay rise.


Families in this country... Are you talking about a significant pay


rise? They are earning less now than they were in 2010. That cannot be


the case and we have got a bridge that gap. There are families in this


country now earning less than what they were in 2007, never mind 2010.


?1400 a year worse off, that cannot be the case. I will put that to


Kwasi Kwarteng, Ian Lavery, we need to let you go, but thank you for


being on the programme. Let's go back to the squeeze on wages because


that's the story now, because with inflation at 2.3%, wages are being


squeezed. It is hard and what he said about public sector pay is


true, a difficult period, there is no point denying that. We also have


to remember that the deficit in 2010 was ?160 billion, we were borrowing


?3 billion a week as a government, as a country, and that was clearly


unsustainable and we have to make tough decisions and that was what


the 2015 general election was fought on, we make difficult decisions,


restrained spending and we had to do do that because otherwise we were


heading for a sovereign debt crisis. Now you think it should be lifted?


I'm not in a position to say, as Ian didn't answer the question, what the


level should be, but there is no doubt it has been a difficult time.


We are getting through. There is no point laughing or pretending that we


didn't have a terrible deficit which had to be dealt with. The thing was


that the opportunity was taken to make ordinary people pay the price.


The price was not paid by the super wealthy. The top 1%. You don't look


after ordinary people. The top 1% pay more tax. Ordinary people, all


of us, we have paid the price. The top 1% pay more tax... We have to


move on otherwise we will not get through the rest of the programme.


Talking over each other does not help the viewer either.


The question for today is, what did Russian President Vladimir


Putin do before meeting Chinese President Xi


A - Ride through Beijing on a Harley Davidson.


B - Explore sunken shipwrecks in the South China Sea.


C - Practise judo with a Chinese national champion.


Or D - Play Soviet-era songs on a grand piano?


The mind boggles, he probably could have done all of them!


At the end of the show Helena and Kwasi will give


Labour's big announcement on health today comes after a weekend


dominated by news of the cyber attack which hit


Speaking to the Royal College of Nurses in Liverpool,


Jeremy Corbyn pleged to spend an extra ?37 billion


on the NHS in England over the next five years if it wins power.


The investment would be funded by tax increases


Labour says the money would be used to upgrade IT systems


Take one million people off waiting lists by guaranteeing


Set a new one-hour A target for the most urgent cases


and guarantee no more than a four-hour wait


Set a new target to tackle bed blocking by patients waiting


for care arrangements before they can be released from hospital.


And cancer patients to be seen within four weeks.


Here's what the Labour leader had to say in Liverpool earlier today.


Nothing embodies our campaign theme, for the many not the few, better


Universal lifelong health care free at the point of need.


However, our health service is actually being


Over the past seven years our National Health


Service has been driven into crisis after crisis.


A departments struggling to cope, waiting lists


soaring, and we saw last week Tory cuts exposed patient services to


I'm joined now by two humble scribes who don't mind standing


Kate McCann from The Daily Telegraph, and the political


Matthew d'Ancona, a poll has found the NHS has overtaken Brexit as


voters' most important concern. Does Jeremy Corbyn's big NHS announcement


today matched by quite big money, is it timely? It is certainly the right


terrain for Jeremy Corbyn because Labour always felt comfortable


talking about health. Naturally in the wake of a cyber warfare attack


it is absolutely a natural subject for him. I think the problem will


come because of the money that is necessary to pay for all of this.


That takes Labour straight back onto the economic issue, which is one of


its weakest. Isn't that going to be a tag line from the Conservatives,


Kate McCann, all about unaffordable spending pledges? They have said


they will tax people earning ?80,000 a little bit more. Surely it would


have to be a lot more to me that build. It would have to be a lot


more, billions of pounds more and Jon Ashworth, Labour's Shadow Health


Secretary, this morning was saying the 45p rate would hit those earning


more than ?85,000 and there is an assumption they would introduce a


50p rate of tax for those on ?150,000 or more. The problem is Jon


Ashworth said that would raise about ?4.5 billion and they need ?6


billion. The list of proposals that he read out from Jeremy Corbyn is


likely to cost far more than that. So there is still quite some money


to find if that is what Labour will promise the country. Let's talk


about the cyber-security issue, which exploded at the weekend. As


the government response been big enough, do you think, Matthew


d'Ancona? I think they are claiming they have 95% of health outlets back


online. I think this is an issue where they will have to be lots of


reassurance. This is not only a health issue, it is a security


issue, which is why Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, rather than Jeremy


Hunt the Health Secretary, has been leading the fight back as it were. I


think it's an incredibly important issue and goes far beyond the limits


of this campaign. It's got to do with the vulnerability of the


biggest health network in the world to a cyber-attack. This was a weapon


that had been used by hackers. It wasn't a foreign attack. It was


clearly just a group of amateurs using ransomware. You cannot have


the NHS is subject to this kind of attack and not be concerned about


it. Kate McCann, in your mind is Jeremy Corbyn using this as a stick


to beat the Government with in this campaign? Will that actually bring


results, do you think, to the Labour campaign? It is funny you say that


because I have a couple of friends in the RCM conference in Liverpool


this morning and they said they didn't think politicising the issue


was a good idea. It works well for Labour because it shows the NHS is


vulnerable to these attacks and gives them another way to save the


Tories are not spending enough money on the health service but it's


probably not that wise because we are likely to see more and more


cyber attacks like this and if Labour are in power they will have


to inject a huge amount of money to protect the NHS and we know from


previous computer programmes and big IT projects, particularly in the


NHS, they tend to go massively overbudget. Right, they made those


promises today, the Labour Party, which adhere, if not in this


programme, late on the BBC from Jeremy Hunt with an interview he did


on this issue. This remains controversial but the health


Department say they have been updating their protective measures


quite aggressively and that very few of the trusts were not warned. The


problem is the more decentralisation you have the harder it is to


regulate. You are always trying to strike a balance between the


benefits of decentralisation in the health service and proper


regulation. I think there will be big lessons to be learned from this.


In terms of the debates, Kate, we know there will be leaders' debate


on Thursday on ITV but they will be no Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn and


ITV said they will not empty chair the missing leaders. Is that right


strategy? It works well for Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn because if


viewers tune in they may not be aware that the Prime Minister and


leader of the Labour Party were meant to attend in the first place


so it looks better for them if there isn't an empty podium with their


names on it. I wonder how many people will tune in on a Thursday


night if the two big hitters aren't taking part. It's probably quite


disappointing that the two people who realistically, and the one


person realistically, who could be running the country will not be


there. We will have to see when we look at the ratings the week.


Casting ahead to the end of the week, looking at manifestos, Matthew


d'Ancona. In this post-truce Iraq which I know you have written


something about, what do you think counts when it comes to grabbing


voters' attention? I don't think voters look for a shopping list of


specific policies or granular detail. But what they do look for is


the trajectory that the country is going to pursue under the specific


party in question. So the question really will be, to take the


Conservative manifesto, is there more to this really interesting new


direction the Conservatives under Theresa May are taking, which is to


try and capture the working class vote? What we have heard today is a


taster and people will look for more in the pages of what we are told


will be the proverbial slim document. Thank you to both of you,


enjoy the campaign. Let's pick up on the cyber-security. Should the


government have taken more notice of those warnings a year ago in terms


of protecting NHS trusts, particularly when it came to their


IT programmes? I think we can always be wise after the event. We can


always look at a problem and say we could have done more, we could have


done this or that. They were warned. What I would say is the government


has committed something like 1.9 billion to the national cyber


Security Centre, something that is new and has not happened before. I


think the government did have a sense that cyber-security was going


to be a big issue, that people were going to be concerned about it and I


think this investment was an excellent development. Could we have


done more to prevent this? May be. What I would also say this was an


international attack. 150 countries were subject to this attack. It was


a global crisis, if you like. I think we are well placed as a


country generally to deal with this sort of attack because of the


National Cyber Security Centre. Are you one of those who is wise after


the event? I was speaking to my friends who sits on a hospital trust


and she was saying the reality is there is so little money left at the


end of the day that in fact when you are talking about the spend, the


capital spend, which has to be on new equipment. Buildings. On


buildings, and then on your computer system, she said you are down to the


small amounts. Talking about more money to add to the ?37 billion you


want to spend over the next few years? I think you really need to


have people with real skills in this and we really have to have a proper


look at it and it is going to cost money inevitably. It will cost


money. Who is going to pay for that, people who are in over ?80,000?


There has to be a complete rethink about this economy and it won't


happen in the hands of the Conservative Party. This business


about low taxation and not looking after your nation's people and the


things that make things good for them must be revisited. The Labour


Party at the moment, there was a dismissal of the league of the


manifesto. I think you are going to find the real challenge to the


neoliberal economics that has been the product of Kwasi and you will


see more money. Will it be credible? John McDonnell, the Shadow


Chancellor, made it clear the increases on those earning ?80,000 a


year, which is what he wants to do, would be modest? One of the more


radical if you want to pay for these things? You need to tax people more.


Labour need to win the trust of people so they think they can manage


the economy so they must be cautious but what I'm saying is we have to


challenge the business of a low tax economy. There is not that much


difference between the two. A transactional tax is something Kwasi


would oppose because he was a banker. Robin Hood tax. Let me... It


was deemed as causing flight of capital. This is different, isn't


it, Kwasi Kwarteng? There are two things that struck me.


One is that it's about looking after people and there are two issues were


polling well on, very strong on the economy and also on security. This


idea Jeremy Corbyn is the man to keep us safe when we know about his


links with the IRA and his support for Hamas... On really! And his


championing of Venezuela under Hugo Chavez. That was a Conservative


attack line. Party mangers are presenting


Jeremy Corbyn as an alternative choice in this General Election


campaign and in a previous life his views were outside Labour's


mainstream thinking. But does this matter


now that he's leader? Over the last few days we've


put some of Jeremy's previously-expressed views to senior


Labour figures. The radical end, the left


of the unions and the Labour Party, have got to be realistic that Nato


is a major problem and a major difficulty,


and we have to campaign against Nato's power,


its influence and its global reach, because it is a danger to world


peace and a danger I think that's a quote from six


years ago, and Jeremy has been on a journey,


to coin a phrase. Come the end of the Cold War


in 1990, that should have been the time for Nato to shut up shop,


give up, go home and go away. What is very clear is that


when you are the leader of a political party,


you have to go with You have to go along


with the collective view. And the collective view


is that we support Nato, and we support remaining


a member of Nato. And that is what


Jeremy is promoting. Fabian Hamilton. So how many more


videos of Jeremy Corbyn contradicting party policy can


Labour politicians expect to be played to them in this campaign? I


think Lynton Crosby has been saving them up. He's running the campaign.


I think we will have them drip fed to the public over the next few


weeks. All I will say is... It's a bit like, I'm a lawyer and a


barrister, and it's a bit like when lawyers have been on one side of a


case, and then you become a judge and you have to behave slightly


differently. Is that like being the leader of a party where you have to


stand on a manifesto where you don't necessarily believe. Has he changed


his mind on things like Nato? Theresa May was in favour of


remaining. Lots of remain politicians now have to say they are


in favour of leaving Europe. People have to listen to others and grow


and change. Has he changed his mind on Nato? I hope that he has. It


makes absolute sense, particularly looking at Russia today, to be


involved with Nato. I hope he has made the shift, but even if he


hasn't, everybody else around them has formed a particular view, and


he's going with that, just like Theresa May is going with leaving


the European Union. Those shifts happen in politics. There are plenty


of remain politicians on the Conservative side. I find it


extraordinary that earlier in the programme Helena Kennedy quoted a


book I wrote with four are the people in 2012 and said I should be


held accountable for that. Now we see the clips of Jeremy Corbyn and


she now says he has changed, things have changed. Have you changed your


view of the British workers? The point has been made that people on


both sides can change their mind. Fundamentally, whether he has


changed or not is beside the point. From his manifesto we are seeing a


return to 1970s, Marxist, hard left agendas that have no evidence people


will support them, which will financially bankrupt the country. Is


it credible to voters that the collective view of the Labour Party


on issues like the renewal of Trident and issues like Nato and


other issues where Jeremy Corbyn personally might not agree with him,


that they override the leader of the Labour Party, who wants to be the


next Prime Minister. The reality is that we are a Democratic party and


policies are made around decisions that are... Are they credible to


voters? People are going on the doorsteps and saying we need Labour


politicians because we need a Labour government to change the business of


ruining the lives of most people in this country. That's what the


Conservative Party has done with austerity. Let's leave that. That's


an emotional response and I take that. But it practically, in the


Labour manifesto will make last Wednesday there was a commitment to


the Nato benchmark of 2% of GDP on defence spending as well as renewing


the Trident nuclear deterrent. But if Jeremy Corbyn can never envisage


using Trident, what's the point of paying lip service to something you


will never use mustard yellow nobody imagines using Trident. Nobody


really imagines using it. -- will never use? Nobody imagines using


Trident. He says he will never use it. That won't deter anyone. The


point is, he's not in there on his own. He's part of a Democratic party


and there will be a cabinet of democratically elected politicians.


Only the Prime Minister would make a critical decision on those decisions


and defence. And you think if we were facing a bomb heading in our


direction from Russia that he wouldn't... I really don't think he


would. In terms of it being a Democratic party, isn't that a


healthy thing? One of the criticisms about Theresa May's campaign is that


it has been presidential in its style. It has been about her, and


that might be the right approach. Very much about team May. Not much


about how the country is run and Conservative Party of the Democratic


party. There are 650 constituencies and individual battles in everyone.


I was spending time with a great candidate in Twickenham yesterday.


That did not feel presidential, it was a street by street constituency


election of the kind we used to. I don't buy the narrative that we have


somehow become presidential. The irony is that the people who


complain about presidential elections are the very people who


complain Theresa May isn't doing gay debate. Those are imports from


America, the Leaders' Debate 's. And France as well. It is presidential.


You can't complain that it's presidential and then say we have to


have leaders debates. We have always had in this country a sense of who


the Prime Minister would be after a general election and that's an


entirely legitimate field of discussion. Do you think David


Cameron was wrong in taking part? I never thought the leaders' debates


were fitting for a parliamentary system that we have. Because it is


presidential. When you put the leaders on a pedestal and ask those


questions it is presidential. Then stop attacking Jeremy Corbyn if it's


not about the leader. It is entirely right to question Jeremy Corbyn. You


go after him because you don't want to look at the policies. The


policies are the thing that really matter. I hope they will matter in


this election. So, most of the parties


are publishing their "Hurrah", I hear you say.


"Extra bedtime reading!" And do they have any


effect on how people vote? Ellie Price has been


in Newcastle with the trusty Welcome to Gateshead and Newcastle,


where there is an air of anticipation because this week


the parties will publish But the big question -


do the manifestos affect Although I was brought up to be


a Labour voter my parents Diane Abbott, Jeremy Corbyn?


Thornberry? So there's nothing they can


say in their manifesto? The Tories are going to concentrate


on Brexit and try and get a strong and stable leadership


which is the shallow one-liner that Mrs May's decided she's


going to come out with. I don't think we're going


to get anything more. The manifestos are


coming out this week. Will that affect the way you vote?


Probably not. Because I couldn't vote for Corbyn


if he was the last man on Earth. And whatever he says


in his manifesto? Because he wouldn't be


able to carry it out. And does it matter what's


in the Tory manifesto then? Will you vote for them?


Yes. Regardless of what's


in the manifesto? I'll probably read it, well,


I'll scan through it because I'm not going to read the whole thing,


it's about 50-odd The manifestos always


lie to you, don't they? Any of you going to bother reading


the party manifestos? I've already kind of made my mind up


where I'm going to go but I'll definitely read them to give


everybody an equal chance. If you don't read the manifesto,


you don't know what they're going to do and it's quite important


to know what's happening Corbyn's been a good leader,


I think he'd be a good We know what's in the manifesto.


We know what's in it. Would the manifestos


change the way you vote? Probably not because I think I'm


just going to vote for the best option for getting rid


of the Tories. Yeah, in this case it is


going to be tactical. The Labour seats in this


part of the world have The results of our mood box


today, pretty marginal. But overall it seems that no,


the party manifestos won't influence Joining me now is Tim Bale,


professor of politics from Perhaps no surprise, the result of


that very unscientific mood box. Is there any evidence manifestos can


make a difference and persuade people to change their vote? There


is not a lot of evidence to suggest people read them in the first place.


However, having said that, there is evidence that indirectly they can


make a difference. Broadcasters such as yourself and the print media pick


up on them and they are the only authoritative statement of what the


parties will do after they get into government. That's why we are so


desperate to have them. And they are coming shortly this week. You see


them broadly as an asset rather than liability? It rather depends on


what's in them. One of the problems for Labour and the league, there was


an upside in that it got people talking about it. And they will have


another go. It also gave GCHQ and anybody who wants to attack the


Labour Party to do all the costings and suggest the manifesto will cost


this much instead of what Labour say it will cost. In many ways it could


be a liability. The parties hold a lot of stalled by them. I know they


haven't had as much time in this election but they spend a lot of


time and thought on the manifestos and producing big documents. They


know most people probably don't read them in depth but they still do


them. There are several reasons to do that. The first is to mobilise


their own activists. You want your own people going on the doorstep to


be enthused about the policies they are selling and they have to have an


idea of what the policies are. That's not the only reason. Parties


also have to decide where they stand and the manifesto process is a


really good way of doing that. It's a good way of sorting out arguments


within the party periodically. And if you think you are going to be in


government, they are vital because these are the documents civil


servants pour over in a few weeks before polling day so when new


ministers come into posts or the old ministers, they can present those


ministers with a brief and say, this is what you said you will do. This


is what we think you can do and let's work on it. And holds you to


it. Absolutely, that's the other function, accountability.


In terms of other previous elections are there any notable examples of


where there was an upturn, if you like, in the polls as a result of


the manifesto being published or a downturn, or any particular


policies? It is difficult to pinpoint a downturn but what you can


say is the danger of manifestos for governments is they can create


hostages to fortune. The 1970 Conservative government is a good


example, they came from opposition with a whole lot of detailed


policies they then tried to implement without much flexibility


or change and they got into trouble. They got stuck and had to do a


U-turn and that government was one of the most unsuccessful and most


unpopular. The Liberal Democrats promising they would get rid of fees


and then going into government and turning Turkey on it almost


immediately. For the young who had voted for them and come out in


droves that really stuck in their gullet. Is that a warning for the


Labour Party in this manifesto? It is always important if you are going


to do something you have to be treated. Scrapping tuition fees is


going to be something for the Labour Party will hold two? You've got to


be careful about what you promise because if you get in there you must


deliver it. It is a good point about the Liberal Democrats with tuition


fees because that is a classic example of something they give a


commitment to do. The justification of being in coalition didn't wash.


It didn't wash. It damaged them terribly. You can see that it did


long-term damage in the next Parliament. The Labour manifesto, a


lot of it was leaked, and the upside is, of course, that voters got to


see some of the quite popular policies that Labour are putting


forward and the polling shows they are popular. People also saw,


forgive me, that the numbers didn't add up. It costs 7 billion to scrap


tuition fees. They are announcing 37 billion for the NHS. You talk about


the nationalisation, they will buy back into public ownership large


amounts of privatised utilities. This is not credible, it does not


add up, it costs a huge amount of money and there is no way they can


credibly raise this amount from tax. Helena Kennedy, the manifesto on the


leadership, will the manifesto be the document, as Tim Bale said, for


activists and candidates out on the doorstep to move away from Jeremy


Corbyn's leadership which is not polling well? I'm sure on the


doorstep people are saying, look at what we are offering you, look at


the way we will take you back to a principle set of Labour policies,


which are about making sure you have living standards raised again, you


have proper jobs. Because Jeremy Corbyn isn't going to be the focal


point for the candidates? We've got to take it away from this business


which is let's keep talking about Jeremy Corbyn and the things he has


done in the past. He is key to your whole policy. Let's cast ahead to


the future, could there be a time that we don't have manifestos


bearing in mind voters are cynical about parties for one reason or


another when they don't follow through on those policies and their


breeches for manifesto commitments. Is it really worth doing? I think he


will never have a situation where party doesn't have a manifesto. A


big written document? We can have a discussion about how long it should


be. 25,000 words is probably a bit on the long side. But there will


always be a document which people can refer to once the party wins the


election, whichever party it is, that they can measure the


performance of the party and government to what they said. You've


always got to have that degree of accountability. What about the big


reveal? Quite often in a manifesto there is a sort of an offer, a


reveal that captures the imagination. What should that be in


the Conservative manifesto? I think today with what we are doing with


workers' rights, it is a bit together the interesting and


exciting development for the Conservative Party. As the Prime


Minister said, this is the biggest and widest extension of workers'


rights any Conservative government will have proposed. And four Labour?


I think it is the fact there will be a complete rethinking on the whole


tax system and what you have called the Robin Hood tax in fact will


actually take us back to the kind of things Labour should have talked


about for many years. Are you looking forward to them coming out


and will you be studying them in detail? I am and even though they


are academic I will be studying them. They will be piling up on your


desk. Thank you for joining us. Let's get a round-up of all


the other campaign news today. Over to you. I certainly am and for


anyone out there pounding the pavements on the campaign trail


today, good luck to them because it's pretty wet around.


So I'm out here in solidarity with them. In the mixed today for you we


have a new signing 14 Labour, a Conservative councillor who has come


a cropper on Twitter, and if there is any secret One Direction fans you


are watching, and you know who you are, we have something for you too.


Sit back and enjoyed today's campaign round-up.


The former Communist Party member and senior United official Andrew


Murray is reported to have joined Labour's campaign team, he is a


long-standing friend and ally of Jeremy Corbyn and Exchequer of the


Stop the War Coalition. Andrew Murray is said to be on secondment


to help Labour's final push in the general election campaign. Labour


told us it does not comment on staffing markets. Meanwhile there is


a Labour Party split in Liverpool. Anderson is reported to have vowed


never to work with Daniel Carden the man selected over him to be Labour's


MP candidate. In a message leaked to the Liverpool Echo Mayor Anderson


reportedly wrote I will not work with him either now or in the


future. A Conservative councillor has been suspended for an offensive


tweet about gypsies which appeared on his account during the Eurovision


Song Contest. Nick Harrington of Warwick District Council has been


relieved of his duties at the six months. The authorities said an


internal investigation is planned. At a London press conference Ukip's


economy spokesman today talked about the party deciding to stand aside in


some seats for pro Brexit candidates. I think it's just a


radically changed political context in which accounts for the fewer


number of candidates. The party is fielding a much reduced number of


candidates compared with the 2015 general election. Nicola Sturgeon


put in an appearance at a rather soggy Hamilton this morning. The


First Minister says she wants whoever the next Prime Minister is


to include the Scottish Government at the Brexit negotiating table. At


least one person was feeling the love.


Tim Farron's been addressing the Royal College nursing. Does it feel


like conversation and debate in this country has been closed in some way?


The Prime Minister and her senior colleagues hiding away from the


public. He took a swipe at Theresa May for


not fronting up in the TV debates. While One Direction star Harry


Stiles has come out as a Remainer, saying he is behind whoever is


against Brexit. Tim Farron said Harry is right, the only direction


the government is going in is the wrong one.


Now, in the run up to the General Election we've been


taking a look at some of the smaller parties hoping to win seats.


Today it's the turn of the English Democrats.


The English Democrats was founded in 2002, and is campaigning


It currently has around 2500 followers on Twitter.


It wants a referendum on the creation of an English Parliament.


And it's calling for the Barnett Formula to be scrapped.


The party condemns political correctness,


It also wants to make it compulsory for all state-maintained public


buildings in England to fly the English flag.


And the leader Robin Tilbrook joins me now.


Welcome back to the Daily Politics. You are calling for a referendum for


an Ingush parliament. Do you think there is an appetite for another


referendum bearing in mind we have had quite a lot recently. I think


there might well be. We will certainly give it a go and see where


we stand in the selection to make that point and to get people to


start thinking about what should happen for England. Because after


all, we were talking about the manifestos, but the fact is none of


the establishment parties are going to do anything in the way of an


English manifesto. They have Scottish manifestos, Welsh


manifestos but nothing for England. As a result of that do you think


there is an appetite for the outcome you are proposing if they were to be


a referendum on an Ingush parliament? There isn't any


interest. When returning my nomination papers the returning


officer said he felt pretty sure if the English were asked in an


independence referendum for Scotland they would vote overwhelmingly that


the Scots should go. If you look at your support it has dropped


dramatically from 2010 two 2015 and in 2015 new fielded 35 candidates


and now you are fielding seven. It feels as if this is a diminishing


party in that sense. I don't think we are a diminishing party. In


fairness we were thinking the election would be in 2020. I take


that note and you were not alone in. As a result of that you offer is a


bit meagre, let us put it like that. That is fair but we thought we would


do an effort in the Manchester mayoral election and we did


reasonably well, we beat Ukip in the Manchester mayoral elections and we


were feeling quite pleased with ourselves until we suddenly had a


snap election and we were left with a situation where we were not really


prepared for that. Ukip is also under pressure as the local


elections proved. Do you think it's over for pro Brexit anti-immigration


parties like yourselves? No. It may be for Ukip. Ukip is specifically


about the UK Independence Party as we are about England. Being this


question has not really started to be properly addressed by the British


establishment. You think there is support for it but there is no


evidence there would be. I put to you again. Opinion polls have asked


whether even should this Parliament and over 60% supported. I do think


there is support. OK, if you are right, David Cameron picked up on


that and introduced English votes for English laws. So he answered


your question. I don't think he did, the English votes for English laws


system is very technical. It doesn't really give an answer to the English


question, which the government's inquiry was... He would say it was


putting England first. It was a first offer. We were not against him


doing it but at the same time I don't think it gets anywhere near


the realist you, which is not just about the representation of an


English Parliament. It's also about government. And in fact, one of the


interesting things about the manifesto leak we had with Labour,


is for the first time it looks like there is a British establishment


party going to say there should be Secretary of State for Scotland,


which there is already, but also for England.


One of the things Theresa May has said in this election that


extremists are seeking to divide and separatists are trying to break up


this country. Who do you think she was talking about? I would certainly


think she meant by separatist, some of the things Mike Iupati because we


are separatist. We do want to see England as a separate nation state.


What's wrong with that? IME unionist so I believe in the argument against


Scottish independence. Do you think English rights are properly


represented? As Robin suggests there is a debate about the nature of the


union, people like Robin Redwood in my party, David Cameron bringing


forward English votes for English laws, this is something that is


subject to debate but I'm not sure the best vehicle to announce the


Mark Evans it is Robin's party and that's why I am a conservative. --


best vehicle to There's just time before we go


to find out the answer to our quiz. The question was what did


Russian President, Vladimir Putin do before


meeting Chinese President A) Ride through Beijing


on a Harley Davidson. B) Explore sunken shipwrecks


in the South China Sea. C) Practise judo with a Chinese


national champion or D) play Soviet


era songs on a grand piano. Have you got the answer? I am


struggling with this one. I think the piano sounds plausible. Helena?


I think he went to the South China Sea to Sea shipwrecks. Let's see who


is right. Now, one might say Kwasi Kwarteng is


right, he was playing old Soviet songs on the piano.


They are not exactly once I was familiar with. What do you think? Is


it time to stick to the day job rather than being a concert pianist.


I was struggling, I didn't recognise the tune. You didn't recognise the


tunes at all. We're used to him being bare-chested and riding. Their


chested and deep sea diving! That's all for today -


thanks to our guests. Particularly for you for being our


guests of the day. I'll be here at noon tomorrow


with all the big political stories


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